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Local News

April 18, 2014

Organizers gear up for ninth annual OH-Fest

In little more than a week, Oneonta residents, college students and out-of-town visitors will gather for the ninth annual OH-Fest, an organizer said Thursday.

Planning for the April 26 event has gone wonderfully, said SUNY Oneonta’s director of campus activities, Bill Harcleroad.

“Logistically, it gets easier every year,” Harcleroad said. “There’s a lot to do, but we’re in really good shape.”

Like in other years, there will be a carnival on Main Street from 1 to 5 p.m., which will feature street performers, balloon artists, carnival games, inflatable rides, arts and crafts, vendors and food, Harcleroad said. Five student bands will perform on the small Main Street stage, he said.

After the carnival, there will be a free concert in Neahwa Park, where four artists will perform. Opening the show will be Baked Potatoes, a reggae-influenced student group that won the March 5 Battle of the Bands at SUNY Oneonta, Harcleroad said. In between acts, Aire Atlantica, a DJ, will perform. Who’s Bad, a Michael Jackson tribute band, will be opening for the headliner, Sammy Adams.

SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College announced in December that Adams would be headlining this year’s concert, amid concern from some city officials. OH-Fest 7, in 2012, included a pair of paid indoor concerts in SUNY Oneonta’s Alumni Fieldhouse. The decision was made to hold the concerts indoor rather than at Neahwa Park after the OH-Fest 6 concert, during which rapper Pitbull performed, drawing a crowd of about 10,000 people. The concert sparked concerns about public safety and the ability of law enforcement to keep the peace. This was the first year with a hip-hop headliner.

Adams, a Boston-based rapper whose latest album, “Homecoming,” debuted at No. 45 on the Billboard 200, was arrested in 2010 for disorderly conduct and incitement to riot at a concert in Manhattan, Kan., according to the Riley County Police Department. Bob Brzozowski and Chip Holmes, both members of the City of Oneonta Common Council and the OH-Fest planning committee this year, said in December that as long as Adams can keep the concert appropriate, as is contracted, there shouldn’t be a problem. Harcleroad agreed.

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